Collect of the Week
Almighty God, You have built Your Church on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. Continue to send Your messengers to preserve Your people in true peace that, by the preaching of Your Word, Your Church may be kept free from all harm and danger; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
In the name of + Jesus.
The Fourth Commandment includes a promise. Actually, here in Deuteronomy, it includes two promises. When fathers and mothers are honored by their children, that will be a family that will enjoy length of days (read, their family tree will go on and on!). More than that, a family in which parents are honored, served, obeyed, loved, and cherished will be a family for which it will go well.
In all actuality, this honor that is due to parents is the building block for every institution established by the LORD. In the Civic Realm, in which citizens have governing authorities, those governing authorities are to receive from the citizenry the same honor and respect parents are to receive in the family from their children. In the Spiritual Realm, in which the Saints in Christ have spiritual authorities, the pastoral office is to receive from the saints this same honor and respect.
The Fourth Commandment’s reach isn’t limited to a single family living under one roof. It extends into every sphere of society: the family, the civic realm, and even the Church. Authorities are called to love and serve those to whom they have been called to lead. And those under authority are called to honor and respect those who are loving and serving them.
Finally, we see this played out most fully in the relationship between Christ and His bride, the Church. Christ is the Lord of the Church, and he loves and serves her with his very own life, even going all the way to the cross in order to provide for her what she could never have on her own. And the Church gives all worship, honor and praise to Christ, not because the must, but out of a joy that springs from receiving the love that He gives.
And so, we pray, that we might understand this Fourth Commandment in light of Christ. That those who are in offices of leadership, be it in the family, the government, or the Church, might understand that theirs is an office of service, in which they are called to be “little Christ’s” for those under their authority. And those who receive that service, we pray, would return that service with the honor and respect that it deserves. After all, who would deny that, for what Christ has done, He is due all honor and respect? So too, may we honor and respect those who serve in offices that no only derive their authority from Him, but may actually serve like him as well. In the name of + Jesus. Amen.
O Lord, by Your Spirit, give us faith to fear and love You, so that we do not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.